In this century, we are facing a global crisis. More than ever, we need people to take risks and make personal sacrifices in defending the environment, human rights and social justice. And we need to recognize and support the work these people do.
Presented annually on December 8th, the night before the Nobel Prize Ceremony, the Right Livelihood Award is handed out to four outstanding individuals or organizations that have made valiant contributions to the betterment of the world. Held in Stockholm, Sweden, the award offers $230,000 US to be shared among three winners. A fourth, honorary award, is presented to someone who is not in need of monetary support but deserving of recognition.
David Lange, winner of this year's honorary award, is known to the world as the anti-nuke Prime Minister of New Zealand. He passed legislation that banned all nuclear powered or nuclear armed vessels from his country's territory. Lange spoke out globally for the disarmament of nuclear weapons and was a heavy promoter of the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty. The US didn't appreciate Lange's passionate stance against weapons of mass destruction. They cancelled defense exercises, cut intelligence sharing and demoted New Zealand from 'ally' to 'friend.'
One of the three cash awards was handed to the hugely accomplished South Korean citizen's movement, the Citizen's Coalition for Economic Justice (CCEJ). Founded in 1989, the CCEJ has 35,000 members including 50 paid staff. It seems there is nothing the CCEJ doesn't do. Their projects embrace a broad scope of issues ranging from economic justice, environmental protection, organic agriculture, democratic and social development and the reunification of Korea. Despite this extraordinary breadth, the distinct and numerous CCEJ citizen-run programs have seen considerable success on the ground.
For more on this year's winners, visit the Right Livelihood Awards web site at the link below.
Go there>>2003 Right Livelihood Award Winners